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South Obenchain fire 90% contained

The South Obenchain fire’s containment jumped to 90% Friday, and crews assigned to the fire have completed more than 91 miles of line around the 32,671-acre blaze.

Firefighters continue to utilize infrared technology to track down and snuff out heat signatures in the interior, and they have continued to push inward on several parts of the fire during mop-up efforts, said Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Division spokesman Natalie Weber.

“The goal has been to get to 300 feet inside the perimeter all the way around the fire,” Weber said. “That’s what they’re continuing to do. ... And then from there, they’ll just continue to make their way through the entire footprint of the fire.”

Lines on the fire’s eastern flank continue to hold, but pushing into the interior has been difficult from that side of the fire.

“It’s remote. There aren’t a lot of road systems on that side, and it can be pretty dense, thick brush, so that’s been the side we’ve been having trouble with for a while now,” Weber said. “They’ll continue to just work at that, but it’s taking longer than the rest of the fire, which is much easier to access.”

A smaller fire management team from northeast Washington will assume control of the fire Saturday.

“We’re at the point where we can use a smaller team to manage this fire and just get it to that point where it’s 100% out,” Weber said.

Next week’s forecast calls for high temperatures in the mid-90s in Jackson County, prompting crews to try and take advantage of the overcast conditions while they can.

“We’re just continuing to mop up. The cooler weather has been huge for us, and so we’re hoping to get a lot done while we have the cooler temperatures here,” Weber said.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com.

Inciweb photo of South Obenchain fire.